On August 21, 2017, the United States saw something it has not seen in nearly a century: a total solar eclipse path traveling across the entire continental United States. The last time any of the mainland United States was able to see a total solar eclipse was 1979–and that was only for a handful of northwestern states.
In case you’re a bit confused why I’m talking about the recent solar eclipse during a Monthly Wine Writing Challenge–don’t panic! It’s because this month’s topic, as selected by last month’s winner, Erik of Red, White, and Cru is eclipse. Thankfully, Jeff extended the original deadline because well, between an emergency appendectomy for me and a urinary tract blockage and 8-day hospital stay for the cat, I’ve barely looked at my laptop let alone opened it and (gasp!) actually written something!
Before I start in on the wine writing part of this challenge, I did want to share this beautiful composite image of the eclipse over Nashville by Richard Sparkman, which I found when I was researching ideas about which to write.
Oh and perhaps it’s the wine in my glass, but also befitting this month’s theme is the MWWC logo (created by the Armchair Sommelier), which totally looks like a wine eclipse…
Yes, I’m totally stalling. Mainly because I had all these grandiose ideas about tasting and writing about wines with the name eclipse–or perhaps solar–in them and then, well, life happened.
So change of plan. Rather than talking to you today about wine, I thought I would talk to you today about winemaking. Ha–bet you weren’t expecting that!
Here’s the grand total of what I know about winemaking: it’s exceptionally expensive and requires an enormous amount of hard work.
BUT, if you want to be slightly adventurous and try your hand at being a vintner without breaking the bank, sacrificing your first born child, and working 20-hour days/7 days a week then perhaps you should try a wine making kit.
I’ll pause a few seconds to let you gasp in horror and clutch your wine glass closer to your chest.
Yes. You read that correctly, I said winemaking kit. In fact if you’re reading this and wine isn’t necessarily your adult drink of choice, it seems that there is now a homemaking kit for pretty much any kind of alcohol in which you like to partake–wine, beer, whiskey, rum, sake, gin–much to the BFFs dismay when I got her hubby a beer making kit for his bday this year!
I know that winemaking kits have been around for awhile, but I was never really interested in them because it seemed like your only options were chardonnay, merlot, or white zin (gag, no, and ohhellno respectively).
So how does this tie in (even remotely) to this month’s theme of eclipse? Well very conveniently for me, Winexpert makes an Eclipse series of winemaking kits–and they sound pretty fancy…and tasty…and has me pondering if perhaps I might rethink my hand at oenology!
Here is the product description from Winexpert, along with the varietals they offer in the Eclipse series. Btw, I’m not getting paid in any way, shape, or form by Winexpert–but if they wanted to send me a few kits, I’d be more than happy to try them out!
Ultra premium wine kits are made with the finest quality varietal juice from around the world to produce wines that will satisfy the tastes of even the most discerning wine enthusiasts.
- Barossa Valley Shiraz with Grape Skins
- German Mosel Valley Gewürztraminer
- Italian Piedmont Nebbiolo with Grape Skins
- Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel with Grape Skins
- Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon with Grape Skins
- Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot with Grape Skins
- New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
- Nocturnal Limited Release with Grape Skins
- Sonoma Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay
- Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir
- Washington Columbia Valley Riesling
- Washington Yakima Valley Pinot Gris
Now you don’t have to wait for the next eclipse–you can make your own! <— Yeah, I’m totally aware of how cheesy that was, but I’m leaving it in here because, well, what goes better with wine than cheese?!?!?
Okay, okay I’ll stop with the cheesiness because now I’d like to hear from you: